One particularly late challenge on the Lions No 10 by the giant Waratahs lock Will Skelton left him in a heap on the ground needing treatment. But Sexton dusted himself down - and is prepared to do the same week-in, week-out as the Test series against the Qantas Wallabies comes around.
"It is what you expect when you are playing at outside half. I knew they would go after me because of knowing Michael Cheika from his Leinster days," said Sexton.
"I had a laugh with him after the game about and told him I knew it was going to happen. Bit what goes on on the pitch stays there, and we had a laugh about it afterwards.
"Rugby is a physical game and it is all part of it. The Waratahs made it a tough game for us and they came out pretty pumped up.
"We were delighted to get the win, but there are still things we need to do better. We have to improve a lot and we know we are going to need to be closer to 100% against Australia."
Cheika admitted that he planned to go after the Lions' half-backs and believes that is a tactic the Qantas Wallabies will carry on. With parity likely at the set-pieces, he believes the speed of ball from the ruck will be crucial to the Test series.
"I know a lot of the players and knew what to expect from them. I know they are class players and when they are all together from the four countries they are hard to stop," said Cheika.
"I thought we gave them a shake around the fringes of the ruck. We got stuck into the No 9 and No 10 a fair bit and that unsettled them.
"Johnny Sexton gave me a really dirty look at the end of the game, but he has so much quality. You have to put heat on the No 9 and No 10 at this level because they are orchestrating for the team and the way the Lions play.
"They are organising the direction of the game, when they are going to go, and so you have got to get them hopping around to give yourself some chance of slowing down their attack.
"It is very clear the Lions are very good at the ruck on both sides of the ball and the ruck will decide the flow of the game in the Tests. The set-piece will be relatively even but that aspect will determine the course of the game because it will allow each No 9 and No 10 to dictate the course of the play."
The Waratahs were without a number of leading players due to injuries and international calls, but still made life difficult for the Lions in a physical contest. It was a performance that left Cheika with mixed emotions.
"I wouldn't be happy with the scoreline - we are the least penalised team in Super Rugby, so to have all those points against us from penalites is a bit hard to take," he said.
"But I was very happy with the effort. I felt we got stuck right in, it was a good physical battle and we worked hard at the rucks.
"Where we got caught out was when we did turn over the class showed. They were able to finish the opportunities they had and we weren't able to do the same because we lacked a bit of X-factor."